THE Andalucian coastline has 10 beaches that have received Black Flags for not meeting the right health, cleanliness and environmental standards.

In general Spain, with its 7,500 kilometres long coastline and more than 3,000 beaches can boast to having some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the world and is in fact home to the most Blue Flag beaches out of any other country. 

Blue Flag beaches are beaches with exceptional hygiene, safety and accessibility standards, as well as their provision of lifeguards and other beneficial features.

Spain currently has a total of 627 Blue Flag beaches in 2023, of which 148 are found in Andalucia and demonstrate the high quality of the waters in the area.

However, there are some coastal spaces that don’t make the cut. In fact, some are so contaminated that they have been ‘awarded’ with Black flags.

Black Flag beaches tend to experience overcrowding from tourism, contamination and have poor waste management.

After inspecting almost 8,000 kilometres of Spanish coastline, Ecologists in Action have published a report highlighting 48 black spots in Spain.

In the case of Andalucia, Ecologists in Action has marked 10 beaches with black flags, two for each coastal province (Huelva, Cadiz, Malaga, Granada and Almeria).

The black flag beaches in Andalucia are as follows:

  • Playa de La Antilla in Huelva for poor waste management
  • Ría de Huelva (Huelva) for contamination
  • Tarifa in Cádiz for poor waste management and for the accumulation of urban development projects.
  • Vejer in Cádiz for pollution and the illegal extraction of water
  • The coast of Málaga for poor waste management and light pollution.
  • Playa de la Herradura in Granada for poor waste management.
  • Playa de La Rábita in Granada for contamination.
  • Playa Algarrobico in Almeria for poor waste management and for the Algarrobico hotel which is located in a protected area, the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park.
  • The protected beach areas of Red Natura 2000 of Roquetas de Mar in Almeria for contamination.


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